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HomeChessGukesh Again within the Co-Lead As Lei Beats Tan •

Gukesh Again within the Co-Lead As Lei Beats Tan •

After spherical 7, one may think about a state of affairs the place Nepomniachtchi and Tan solidify their lead and preserve it until the tip of the event. Spherical 8, although, flipped the script fully. Gukesh bounced again brilliantly after his spherical 7 loss and joined Nepomniachtchi within the lead as soon as once more, whereas within the Ladies’s part, Lei defeated Tan to open a three-way tie for first. In shut pursuit to the leaders within the Open part are Nakamura, after right now’s victory in opposition to Caruana, and Praggnanandhaa; within the girls’s, Lagno is simply half some extent behind the leaders. Because the event progresses, the thrill will construct additional and extra spectacular chess shall be performed earlier than two challengers within the Open and Ladies’s get topped.

In addition to broadcasting the dwell video games from the 2 tournaments, Lichess is offering a dwell stream for day-after-day of the Candidates. Be certain that to tune in to our Twitch or YouTube channels, with streams ranging from 14:15 Toronto time (18:15 UTC).

*We’re additionally offering every day annotations on a number of the video games from GM Brandon Jacobson and IM / WGM Padmini Rout. The total examine might be discovered right here.


Spherical Recap

Open Part


At the moment’s spherical was marked by improvements in historic openings. Gukesh and Nakamura, respiratory new life into the Italian and Ruy Lopez, respectively, received in opposition to Vidit and Caruana. Nepomniachtchi put immense stress on Abasov, however Abasov was as much as the duty and defended nicely. In the meantime, Praggnanandhaa launched a uncommon opening concept in opposition to Firouzja’s considerably shocking opening alternative, however the sport shortly petered out right into a draw.

Trendy chess is all about enjoying innocuous strikes which are not that a lot worse than the “greatest” engine strikes. In some instances, these subtleties may give rise to unanticipated nuances in typical positions. Gukesh’s preparation clearly had these concepts in thoughts as he performed 4…a6 and 5…h6 within the Italian, steering the sport into atypical and nigh on uncharted waters, which is sort of a feat, particularly at this degree. Vidit went for a typical plan within the Italian, gaining as a lot queenside house as doable. It appeared to overextend his place, although, and he quickly discovered himself worse — Gukesh’s subtleties within the opening labored out fairly nicely. Vidit’s play appeared logical, nevertheless it was simply marginally inaccurate, and Gukesh was enjoying completely, leaving Vidit no probabilities to come back again. That small fingerhold of a positional benefit was all Gukesh wanted to superbly coordinate and manoeuvre his items in opposition to Vidit. Below excessive positional stress, Vidit then blundered in what was a really dangerous — shedding — place, permitting Gukesh’s queen to infiltrate. Gukesh completed off in model with a very fairly checkmate and bounced again brilliantly after what was a really powerful loss in spherical 7. GM Brandon Jacobson analyzes Gukesh’s comeback:

Nakamura and Caruana additionally discovered a solution to enter novel territory in one of the crucial well-studied openings in all of chess, the Ruy Lopez. Nakamura went for a uncommon transfer, then Caruana adopted up with a novel transfer (in response to our Lichess Masters database). The character of the sport wasn’t that of a typical Ruy as Nakamura had an remoted queen’s pawn, and as items bought traded, it appeared like Caruana was nicely on the best way to equalize, and probably be higher. Nakamura saved discovering exact and aggressive strikes, although, beginning with 26. h4. Caruana didn’t react in one of the best ways doable and shortly discovered himself at an obstacle, proper earlier than blundering inexplicably. GM Brandon Jacobson showcases Nakamura’s and Caruana’s improvements:

Nepomniachtchi went into the second leg of the double spherical robin as the only chief of the Candidates. Taking part in in opposition to Abasov with the White items (a score distinction of 126 Elo between the 2 of them), some could have anticipated this end result to be a foregone conclusion. Nonetheless, Abasov has confirmed to be tenacious and an awesome predictor of his opponent’s technique, and right now was no completely different. In opposition to 1. e4, Abasov opted for the Petrov Defence; a weapon Nepomniachtchi himself is especially keen on and one which this event has confirmed is a preventing opening. For practically 20 strikes, albeit through an (improved) transfer order, they adopted a sport performed in 2019 between GM Anurag and IM Saravana, the place White went on to win. Nepomniachtchi had the initiative and the issues, particularly in a tense endgame scenario, however the underdog discovered the one equal line and bought a vital draw with the Black items. This end result may very well be momentous for the end result of the remainder of the sector, with Nepomniachtchi probably having counted on a win with the White items in opposition to Abasov.

Praggnanandhaa’s preparation on this Candidates has merely been stellar, just because it’s so contemporary. With 6. Ncb5 in opposition to Firouzja’s Sicilian Taimanov, Praggnanandhaa confirmed that he was not shocked by Firouzja’s alternative of Sicilian and had his personal concepts. The sport by no means actually bought off to an imbalanced place, although, and Praggnanandhaa quickly discovered a solution to liquidate, attaining a slightly secure and equal place. With increasingly items getting hoovered off, a draw was essentially the most logical end result.

Following these outcomes, our simulations present that Nepomniachtchi’s probabilities have considerably fallen regardless of solely drawing Abasov and never shedding. He stays the favourite, although, however Gukesh and Nakamura are shut behind. Caruana nonetheless has an opportunity to make a comeback, however he wants to begin stringing via victories quickly lest his probabilities dwindle.


Ladies’s Part


Simply because it appeared like Tan would run away with the occasion, she maybe let that thought cloud her judgement an excessive amount of and was, merely, too formidable. With a spectacular win in opposition to Tan, Lei threw the event vast open as there are actually three leaders, Goryachkina, Tan, and Lei on 5 factors, with Lagno in shut pursuit on 4.5.

Tan meant enterprise right now as she performed a really critical opening within the London. After having achieved a symbolic benefit within the opening with the bishop pair, the place was far too closed and thus a repetition of strikes made essentially the most sense — each on the board and as a result of event scenario. Displaying an overabundance of preventing spirit, although, Tan went for the weakening 21. f4, signaling that she was in no way content material with a draw. After all, in hindsight, the choice appears to be a poor one, however, to make use of one other platitude, fortune favors the courageous. Tan maybe may have survived, however Lei performed very precisely and Tan’s place slowly collapsed. IM / WGM Padmini Rout explores exhibits us how one can convert like Lei:

The veteran vs. rookie trope has change into commonplace in chess, however, in current occasions, it looks as if expertise is narrowly edging out youth. Vaishali’s event hasn’t been going her means, so she was probably hoping to get a win with the Grünfeld right now. Her completed countrywoman, Humpy, although, knew the ins-and-outs of the Grünfeld variation chosen fairly nicely, gaining a pleasant benefit after Vaishali reacted poorly to a well-timed e6 pawn push on transfer 14. An change was then received in one of the best ways doable, however Vaishali defended tenaciously, ultimately even entering into an equal endgame. Equal doesn’t at all times imply drawn, although, and Humpy nonetheless had the additional change to work with. In time stress, Vaishali went for the incorrect plan and was pressured to resign a couple of strikes later. IM / WGM Padmini Rout exhibits what may have been:

Salimova has to this point proven that being the one IM within the event wouldn’t be of any concern to her, and right now noticed no completely different. Taking part in a really strong variation of the Queen’s Gambit, which went on to transpose to a Catalan place, Salimova’s better-placed items gave her a small benefit within the middlegame. There was possibly one second the place Salimova may have capitalized additional on her benefit, however the line proven by Stockfish 16.1 just isn’t straightforward for a human to understand and never all that clearly profitable, both. After Muzychuk went right into a knight + 4 pawns (Muzychuk) vs. rook + 3 pawns (Salimova) place, although, it was clear that solely Salimova may win. In a flabbergasting second of double blindness, Salimova may have received after buying and selling one benefit for an additional: that of the additional change for a profitable king and pawn endgame. Sadly for Salimova, she didn’t play 54. Rxe5 and needed to acquiesce to a draw on transfer 120, after enjoying out the rook vs. knight endgame for an extended whereas.

Goryachkina is within the co-lead and has been having a really strong event. Curiously sufficient, she has by no means been a lot worse in any of her 8 video games, a document nobody else can boast. The closest she has been to being “a lot worse” was in right now’s sport in opposition to Lagno, the place Lagno had a measly +1 towards the tip of the sport — keep in mind, although, that Stockfish’s evaluations in late middlegames and endgames are overoptimistic. Reaching the attract model with 33…Nfg4, Goryachkina have to be glad with right now’s sport as she drew a detailed contender in Lagno.

Following these outcomes, our simulations present that for the primary time because the begin of the occasion, Tan is now not the clear favourite — Goryachkina is, with Lei shut behind. Lagno can also be nonetheless within the operating, however, in any other case, the 4 different gamers have near 0 probabilities of mounting a comeback.


Spherical 9 Preview

Within the Open, the pairings of the all-decisive spherical 2 are repeated, however with colours reversed. After making an enormous comeback, Nakamura shall be seeking to get revenge in opposition to Vidit for the spherical 2 loss. Firouzja can even need to avenge his loss in opposition to the participant who as soon as once more shares the chief with Gukesh, Nepomniachtchi. Praggnanandhaa, solely half some extent behind Gukesh, can even look to present Gukesh a tricky battle as Black. In the meantime, Caruana, who’s simply coming off a tricky loss, should take into account his choices as Black in opposition to the strong and tenacious Abasov.

Within the Ladies’s part, the event is really vast open. Of the leaders, Lei has one of the best probabilities to win as she is enjoying with the White items in opposition to Salimova. Do not depend out any Black victories, although, as Goryachkina and Tan will play Black in opposition to Muzychuk and Vaishali, respectively. For the participant searching the pack, Lagno, she additionally performs Black in opposition to Humpy, who shall be regaining her confidence after right now’s victory in opposition to Vaishali.

Be certain that to observe the motion with us in Spherical 9!



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